By Kwamina Tandoh, GNA
Accra, April 2, GNA - Ghanaian Women in Agriculture Research and Development (GhaWARD) has been launched in Accra with an aim to empower women in agriculture-related programmes through leadership, entrepreneurship and technical skills.
GhaWARD, an ancillary group of the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD), would contribute to the development of a vibrant, sustainable and economically sound agricultural (including natural resources) sectors in Ghana.
'Women in agricultural research in Ghana are dedicated to doing good science to solve societal problems and that is a big achievement for a country, to be able to nurture and grow its scientist both men and women and to make sure that even the women scientist do not fall off the radar', said Dr Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg, Director of AWARD.
She said AWARD has six country chapters across Africa namely; Mozambique, Zambia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda; and 465 scientists have benefited from AWARD and 1119 been fellows.
She said a total of 117 scientists from Ghana have benefited from AWARD with 47 being fellows.
Dr Kamau-Rutenberg said AWARD would support institutions such as the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Ghanaian universities to become more gender responsive in the agribusiness sector to drive the agriculture transformation agenda forward for global impact.
Professor Esther Sakyi-Dawson of the University of Ghana said the number of females in medical sciences and agriculture is not more than 30 per cent, thus, there is room for improvement to create avenue for mentorship to foster the development of women scientists.
Dr George Owusu Essegbey, the Director of CSIR-STEPRI, urged female scientists to overcome limitations and develop their capacities to deliver effectively to change the face of agriculture and sciences and commended AWARD for the initiative.
As part of the launch, Board of Executives, to steer the affairs of GhaWARD, were inducted into office after swearing an oath of allegiance.
Dr Mercy Afua Adutwumwaa Derkyi, President of GhaWARD on behalf of the Executives, expressed commitment to work towards achieving gender responsive agricultural innovative system to drive prosperity and food and nutrition security for Africa.